November 23, 1936 - May 6, 2024


attachment-Franklin Kaufman

Franklin Benjamin “Frank” Kaufman, of Cold Spring, Minnesota, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loved ones.

Frank was born on November 23, 1936, in Watkins, Minnesota, and attended Eden Valley-Watkins High School. After attending the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, and serving his country for 23 years, he retired from the Navy and took on the role of manager at the Foley Municipal Liquor Store. He and his wife, Mary, later purchased and operated the OK Hardware store in Watkins for several years. Frank then transitioned to work for Cold Spring Granite (later known as Coldspring) as a purchasing agent before retiring from the company in 1999.

Frank joined the U.S. Navy in June 1954 and served until his retirement on June 15, 1977. While in the Navy, he was stationed on various ships and shore stations, including U.S. Embassies in Egypt and Italy, where he worked as a radioman. Over time, he achieved the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. His Navy career took Frank and his family to places such as Athens, Greece; Cairo, Egypt; Rome, Italy; and Bermuda. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Frank was positioned in the second ring of ships surrounding Cuba. His wife, Mary, only discovered his whereabouts through the news. He had a narrow escape from Cairo during the 1967 Six-Day War, fleeing on a supply ship on the Mediterranean Sea after burning documents on the embassy roof. He was later reunited with Mary and their sons in Greece, who had flown out before the airfield was bombed. Frank also managed several Chief's clubs. While on the Navy base in Bermuda, he booked celebrities like Barbara Mandrell to provide entertainment for non-commissioned officers.

Frank married the love of his life, Mary, on July 26, 1958. They were together for 55 years, sharing a bond that was only broken by Mary's death on September 11, 2013.

Frank served as the Mayor of Watkins for two terms. He was particularly proud of his achievement in bringing cable television to the town. As a long-standing member of the American Legion and the Cold Spring Lions, his dedication and service were recognized with the Lions' Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest form of recognition established by the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to honor individuals dedicated to humanitarian service. The Cold Spring Lions further honored Frank with a plaque at the Lions Park in Cold Spring.

Faith was a significant part of Frank’s life, and he was a devoted member of Saint Boniface Catholic Church. He enjoyed playing cards, watching sports, and visiting casinos. Known for his dry sense of humor and quick wit, Frank held his country, family, and faith in high regard.

Frank is survived by his son, Bryan (Debra) Kaufman; his daughter, Brenda (Bradley) Jacobson; his grandchildren, Morgan (Jara) Kaufman, Luke Kaufman, Jacob (Mercedes) Kaufman, Justin (Caroline) Kaufman, Benjamin (David) Kaufman, Zachary Kaufman, Ashley Kaufman, Katherine (Joshua) Brown, Alyssa Brown, Mitchell Brown, Anthony Brown, and Ethan Brown; and his great-grandchildren, Presley, Lincoln, Leif, Lucille, Carter, Lillian, Beatrice, Finn, Maggie, Lucca, James, Bernadette, Franklin, Leo, and Penelope. Frank was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Anne Eleanor Kaufman; his son, Bruce Kaufman, and daughter-in-law, Amber Kaufman; parents, William and Apolonia Kaufman; brothers, Eugene Kaufman, Julius Kaufman, Elmer Kaufman, and Earl Kaufman. Franklin's final rites will be conducted at the Church of Saint Boniface, located in Cold Spring, Minnesota.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at St. Boniface Catholic Church, Cold Spring, MN. The burial will be in the parish cemetery. The service will be livestreamed at

The visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Monday at the Wenner Funeral Home in Cold Spring. Visitation will continue from Noon-1:15 p.m. Tuesday in the St. Boniface Church Narthex.

In lieu of flowers or other condolences, it is requested that gifts be made to the CentraCare Hospice.

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